World Bulletin / News Desk
ISIL has seized control of the airport in the city of Sirte after forces of a Tripoli-based Libyan government withdrew, a spokesman said Friday.
Mohamed al-Shami, whose government is not recognized by the international community, said its forces pulled out late Thursday from the airport which had “fallen into the hands of the ISIL organization.”
The forces had pulled out of the airport also called Gardabiya. and said i t was the first time lISIL in Libya has recorded such a military gain.
“After they left, ISIL fighters entered the base which had been completely emptied of equipment, except for one military plane which is out of use,” Shami said.
Gardabiya lies 20 km south of Sirte, which is the hometown of late dictator Moammar Gadhafi who was ousted and killed in Libya’s 2011 uprising.
ISIL, in a message posted on twitter, said it took full control of the airport after clashes with forces loyal to the Tripoli government
Officials in Tripoli said ISIL had allied with supporters of the ousted Gadhafi regime to deploy across Sirte, a region which has oil fields.
Sirte has been the scene of several months of sporadic fighting between ISIL and the Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) militia alliance tasked by the Tripoli government with securing the city.
Shami said the pro-Tripoli forces would launch a counteroffensive to retake the airport once reinforcements arrived.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Mayıs 2015, 17:08